Thanksgiving games and activities for family gatherings, parties and youth groups
Be creatively thankful!
Whether your planning a thanksgiving gathering for your family, friends, small group, youth group, church or scout group, we've collected some great ideas for themed activites and games to keep the thankfulness at the forefront.
We're always on the look out for more ideas - if you'd like to share what activities you did for your thanksgiving gathering, please share them here.
Thanksgiving is, of course, a time to be thankful. Traditionally families and gatherings might spend time taking turns to share what person is thankful for in life. Sometimes, keeping it simple is best, but sometimes, it's great to get a little bit more creative.
Why not try some of these simple ideas to help spark thoughtfulness in sharing:
Roll a Dice
Designate a different meaning to each number of a dice and get each person to take turns rolling it to direct what they'll share. For example, each number could represent a different theme (a person, an achievement, a gift, a skill, a new thing, an old thing, something from creation etc.) or a different person (person to your left, person to your right, person opposite you etc.)
Use Coloured Sweets
Skittles, M&Ms, jellybeans and smarties all work really well for this idea. The main idea for this variation can be found here. Simply designate a theme or a person or a question (see above paragraph for ideas) and get each person to draw a handful of sweets and let the colours dictate how they'll share.
This is a fantastic way to get a larger group - maybe at a youth group or church event - to express their thankfulness. Firstly give each person a pad of sticky notes and a pen. Then you'll need to instruct them all to write as many things that they are thankful for as possible and stick them up on a wall. It could be interesting to get them to stick the notes in a shape (like a heart or a cross) and you could also try to find some different colours of sticky notes to make it look even more spectacular. Another spin on this idea is to get people to stick notes of thankfulness on each other!
Thanksgiving Charades + Pictionary
Pictionary, charades and sculptionary (and even actionary) are easy to play games for any occasion and your thanksgiving gathering is no exception. Create a list of thanksgiving themed words and then choose your favourite game to play. Here are some example words to get you started:
- Carving the turkey
- Pumpkin pie
Get a wooden peg and decorate it to be a "turkey peg". When your gathering guests arrive explain that there is a peg and that every 30 minutes the person who has been "pegged" will need to share a quick speech of things they're thankful for. In the meantime, everyone at the gathering must be sneaky with the peg to attach it to one another without the person noticing. Of course, if you notice you've been pegged, you'll want to quickly try to peg someone else. When the 30 minutes (or any designated time) expires, it could result in anything really - maybe a dare or a challenge could be fun to do also.
Thank You Gobble
At the beginning on your thanksgiving event, party or family gathering, explain that there is an ongoing challenge where everyone must try to end up with the least amount of turkey points. You can make up any silly rules that work for your group but here are some suggestions:
- Everytime you say "thank you" you must follow it by saying "gobble"
- Everytime you say "please" you must wiggle your fingers under your neck (like a turkey)
- Everytime someone taps you on the shoulder, you must say "thank you" within three seconds
You get the idea!
Everyone starts with 0 points and every time they are caught making a mistake with one of the rules, they receive a turkey point.
Definitely have a "last place prize" for the loser of the game!
For Thanksgiving Dinner I Had...
This is a silly game that has many variations circling around the internet - you can see similar instructions here for "If I Went To Mars...". Essentially, everyone in your group takes a turn at saying the line "My name is ____ and for thanksgiving dinner I had" and then they insert a food item like "pumpkin pie". Then the next person continues by saying all of that plus another food. For example: "My name is ____ and for thanksgiving dinner I had pumpkin pie and sliced turkey". This continues on with each person. If someone makes a mistake while saying it, they're out of the game!
Cluck, Cluck, Gobble
A silly thanksgiving variation on the classic kids party game of "Duck, Duck, Goose". Need we say more? Probably not. Enjoy!